Three federal appeals court judges on the West Coast dealt President Trump a critical blow last week when they refused to reinstate his controversial executive order barring refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the country. Their ruling means that — at least for the foreseeable future — people can travel as they could before the ban existed.
How long that will last, though, remains an open question — largely dependent on what the administration decides to do in and out of court. Here are the four options it is considering.
1) Rewrite the order
Trump said himself last week that he’s considering rewriting his ban, even as he predicted success in court. He said the revisions might include “new security measures,” though he did not offer any specifics.
Given the ruling of the three-judge panel with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, Trump would likely have to change his order top-to-bottom to pass legal muster. He could make clear that it no longer applies to green-card holders — who probably have the strongest case to sue in U.S. courts — or he could craft an order that applies only to people who have not yet applied for visas. But the three-judge panel said even those modifications would not necessarily make them change their minds, because such changes would not help U.S. citizens who “have an interest in specific noncitizens’ ability to travel to the United States.”
Importantly, Trump’s ban was mostly designed to be temporary: 90 days for citizens of Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya, 120 days for refugees from everywhere, and an indefinite suspension on citizens of Syria. In the meantime, the administration was supposed to be looking at how to improve vetting procedures. It’s possible Trump could sign an order that lays out those vetting procedures and declares the travel ban is no longer necessary. Provided those procedures are legal, that would probably be his best bet for dodging litigation — though it’s hard to imagine how officials could have come up with the new measures so quickly. The executive order was only signed on Jan. 27.Read More...
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